10 Things You Need to Know Before Changing Career

Ruth Ng

Ruth Ng

7 min read
How to change career

You’re finally ready to do it. After months (or years) of contemplating, you know that you’re ready to change careers. We’re so happy for you!

Or maybe you’re actually just exploring the possibility now, and you aren’t sure where to go or what to do next. If that’s the case, we welcome you to take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back.

You have time, and it’s okay to explore your options. This post is a good place to start.

Switching careers is a major life milestone, one that many people often put off out of fear and uncertainty. But the opportunity to turn your day job into something you’re passionate about is worth the effort it takes to change fields.

So, career changers and changers-to-be, here are 10 things you should know about changing careers that can inspire you to make your next move.

1. Age doesn't matter

There is no wrong age to start changing your life. Job satisfaction matters at every stage of life, so whether you’re 20 or 60-plus, this is your time to shine. The age of the average career changer is around 35-39!

Don't underestimate how valuable the "soft" skills you learn from previous careers can be, either. Hiring managers love hiring people with a wealth of experience, wherever that might be from.

It’s quite common for people to experience a shift after a decade or so in their chosen field or realise that it’s time to really commit to one industry.

2. You need to do what matters to you

Working a job that you really don’t like can affect you physically and mentally. Let your interests and passions guide you in the right direction.

There are plenty of people who have willingly taken a pay cut just so they can do something they’re excited about. This is also possible when switching from a long-term career to an entry-level position.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about money, but it does mean your happiness is equally important. Explore all of your career options and start to envision yourself in different roles. Which ones stir excitement and curiosity? Those are what you should investigate further.

3. Research everything

Career changers advice 101: Research is always a good idea. From the average pay in your area to how to write a cover letter that makes hiring managers notice, there’s a lot to learn when you’re preparing to switch fields. It’s a major life change, and things have likely changed since you were last applying to jobs.

Look into both the pros and cons of certain fields, as well as specific roles you’re interested in. You create a must-have and wants list to help streamline the process. Doing so will give you a realistic idea of what to expect and which positions might work best for you and your lifestyle choices.

Ultimately we think the best way to decide what to do is to dip a toe in. Fancy design? Download some design software like Illustrator and learn some basic skills, even if it's from free tutorials. Considering coding? Follow a free course like Codecademy and see if it piques your interest.

4. Go where opportunity is waiting

You can more easily launch a successful career in fields that are actively growing. Tech fields, like cyber, software development, web development, UX/UI design, and data, are all rapidly expanding. They present many job opportunities both in the UK and abroad, as well as remotely.

When you go where the opportunity lies, you’ll find it easier to have your pick of career options and your ideal work environment. This is an important part of achieving a healthier work-life balance and building long-term job satisfaction.

5. It’s hard, but there are paths for you to follow

You’ll have to work hard to learn the skills to succeed in a new field, but there are expert instructors and communities for you to count on. Thanks to clearly defined career paths, you can build your knowledge and skills step-by-step.

With a career coach and the right training programme, you’ll learn everything you need to impress employers and find the right job for you.

You could consider a career-building programme with bespoke coaching, such as Stay Nimble.

6. Interactive training makes a world of difference

There is a major difference between a pre-recorded training course and an interactive programme. Interaction is invaluable to career changers looking to break into new fields; you get one-on-one support, tutor-guided instruction, as well as peer-to-peer interaction. In fact, having this interaction can give you the tools you need to switch careers with confidence.

7. You define your success

Success looks a little different to everyone. Maybe you value more time with family and friends over major office achievements. Or perhaps you want an engaging work environment surrounded by colleagues you love.

This is as individual as you are.

Rather than think solely in terms of earnings, consider what matters most to you. Changing careers is a great time to ask yourself what matters to you in life and what you want out of your career.

8. It is natural to feel anxious

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences at some point, and it’s normal to hesitate when changing fields. You might have doubts about leaving your job or wonder whether you can really reach your goals.

Don’t allow this to stop you from moving forward. Nerves are natural, and they do subside as you build confidence and move closer toward your goals. The most important thing is that you’re doing something you truly enjoy every day.

9. There is usually a cost investment

Entering a new career path usually requires investing money into education and skills training. This can range from several hundred to several thousand pounds depending on the type of career transition.

Quality companies provide financing options to help you learn what you need without bearing a huge financial burden upfront. At Knoma, we provide interest-free loans to help you conquer your career ambitions without a major hit to your budget.

10. Your job satisfaction is important

Last but not least, remember that your happiness matters. Finding a job that you enjoy, doing work that you find rewarding, and earning enough to live comfortably are all things you deserve. Never stop striving for those things, regardless of your age or how long it takes you to get there.

With a career pathway laid out, you can kick your career change into high gear and enter a new field in years or even months.

Knoma can help you find and fund the course you need to get ahead.

Browse courses from leading schools and bootcamps on the Knowledge Marketplace here.